CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. — A judge temporarily stopped a proposed outlying landing field (OLF) in eastern North Carolina. Opponents hope the Navy will consider building it somewhere else, but others in the Craven County city of Havelock said the judge made a costly decision.
Jimmy Sanders is president of Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow. The group worries if the Navy cannot build its OLF locally, it will not land any of if its Super Hornet squadrons at Cherry Point.
The military is expected to put out a base closure list next year, and Sanders said it is a strike Cherry Point cannot afford.
"We think that at the absolutely worst time possible, we're sending the wrong message," he said. "To be in an area where they're wanted or in an area where they're not wanted, I think they'll pick one where they're wanted."
Many residents who oppose the OLF said if the Navy builds on their land, it will cost their family farms, but OLF supporters argue thousands of military-supported jobs could also be on the line.
"Our way of life in eastern North Carolina would certainly change drastically if we were to lose these bases," Sanders said.
This week, Havelock commissioners unanimously voted on a resolution pledging full support for building the site in Washington County. City leaders plan to send letters to other communities that rely on the military to speak up in support of the OLF.